STAGE 2 AND 3
The College has been working hard on our chosen focus as part of the Mercy International Reflection Process: CONSUMERISM: The injustice to the living and non-living of our planet in order to sustain an existence based upon greed and wealth impacting Global Warming; Poverty; Deforestation; Pollution
This stage is about exploring the ideas associated with Consumerism. In classrooms students have been exploring the consequences of consumerism. This can be seen in the attached pdf. This has been boosted by the ongoing work of the Damascus College Green Group in its preparations for Enviro Week in the last week of this term. We are learning about how simple actins make a huge difference to our environment.
This stage is about the wisdom and theological traditions that underpin our thinking about consumerism. In religious education classes students have been creating hands of mercy, an acknowledgement of the Year of Mercy. In another step, RE classes will be considering how those hands of mercy might be applied to the consuming world.
Our gospel at Damascus Day Mass is the story of the son who took his inheritance and waisted it in a binge of consumerism. The story is often called the Prodigal Son (Luke 15) but may be better named Consumerism-Finding A Way Back. Consumerism had negative effects on the relationships of this son in a story set in ancient times. In modern times consumerism is having a global effect on both the human and other-than-human relationships of our world. How we can be merciful in our relationships with the earth?
Week 10 - Wednesday 22nd June, 2016
Exploring CONSUMERISM in our classrooms
Areas of Learning are being asked to make a contribution to the developing understanding of consumerism and its impact on the human and other-than-human in their areas of expertise. The idea is that Areas of Learning uses their expertise to explore the topic.
This might mean using a data set about consumerism to complete mathematical computation or analysis. It may mean that technology focuses on the waste systems at use in their areas of knowledge. It could be in english that a short text or persuasive article for study may be chosen because it leads to questions about consumerism. It maybe that LOTE explores the language of consumerism in the language being studied. It may be that scientists have units that the study the various ways of analysing, researching and documenting environmental concern. In humanities, year levels may be engaged in a geographic or economic or historical analysis of the impact of consumerism. It may be that Health and Physical Education classes could consider the health related impacts of consumerism and the fast food industry. It may be that the Arts investigate contemporary expressions of concern about consumerism or develop creative expressions of concern for our world in the light of consumerism.
It is not necessary that all year levels are involved in all areas of learning. But all Area of Learning can be involved and all year levels can be involved.
The Religious Education faculty will make its contribution in the third stage of the Mercy International Reflection Process as we consider the wisdom and biblical traditions surrounding consumerism.
Week 8 & 9- Wednesday 8th June, 2016 & Wednesday 15th June, 2016
Moving into Stage 2
Now that we have established the Damascus College focus, the Mercy international reflection process continues into the second movement. This movement is about broadening our understanding of the focus. We will be tapping into and sharing our insights into the reality of the impacts of consumerism. We will be asking and seeking answers for questions about facts of consumerism. The facts will move our thinking to possibilities for understanding meaning and making judgements of truth. There is a video prepared that introduces this stage. It can be found at … http://www.mercyworld.org/mercy_global_action/project-contentpage.cfm?pid=E220247F-BB4D-5777-D7B326F931C981F9&pgid=7E5AE504-E90F-9D68-FED18D4998A0D6C0
Week 7 - Wednesday 1st June 2016
We have a Damascus College focus for the Mercy International Reflection Process (MIRP).
A group including teachers, students and parents gathered in the Mercy Administration Block Boardroom to engage with the data from the MIRP survey of all groups. The first movement at the meeting was one of attentiveness to the details of the material uncovered in the survey instruments. It was about exploring the issues raised in realistic terms: how often; how consistently and with what intensity ideas had been expressed. All responses were read.
The second movement looked to possibilities suggested in the detail. The third move led to judgements about the focus and an accompanying examination of priorities. The fourth and final stage of the discernment process was just as critical. It asked the questions of value. Is this area of focus truly merciful? If that focus were agreed to, would it be in accord with the vision and mission of the College? If the judgement was to become the decision for the College who would be affected and in what ways? Is that judgement the responsible way to move forward in mercy, in this community, at this time?
Here is the focus:
Week 6 - Wednesday 25th May 2016
MIRP: What kind of process?
The Mercy International Reflection Process continues. The process invites our community to consider the ways in which the environment, our planet and its human and other-than-human inhabitants are truly in need of mercy. The process is one of discernment, which is a method of coming to a decision that is not taken lightly. It is a process of meaning-making done within a community of mercy. There will be attention to the detail of our suffering planet and its creatures, seeking to understand the implications of our shared plight in faith, making a wise judgement about the possibilities, before deciding on a community action that is liberating and sustainable and unwavering.
The need of the process is plain. See https://youtu.be/2QrgwpsT6pI
Week 5 - Wednesday 18th May 2016
Our Stories of the Earth’s Need for Mercy are Published.
The data from this important process that is our main way of participating in the Year of Mercy is now ready for all to see.
You will be able to read your story and see how the keyword process is offering some direction for the discernment that will follow. What focus will Damascus College choose to advance in Mercy?
Here is the link that holds our various contributions: http://mercyinternationalreflection.weebly.com/
Any person who would like to be a part of the discernment process that is explained on the website can contact Tony Haintz as soon as possible at firstname.lastname@example.org
We have only just begun.
Week 4 - Wednesday 11th May 2016
Time to make our concerns heard.
We have been preparing in RE classes and in TA, with staff members and with families through the newsletter. We have been getting ready to share our concerns about our planet, earth, our home, our mother. On Tuesday 10th May students will have their say. Now you can have your say.
Do you know how many earth’s would be needed to maintain your life style?
Use the ecological footprint calculator (link below). Only take a minute of two. You may be surprised at the result.
What is worrying you?
What story can you share about the cry of the Earth and the cry of the Poor? (You may include references to anything that you have witnessed in life, in the media or on the internet)
What keywords would you use to identify your contribution?
Go online and tell us what you think?
Your story will be added to the growing account of the dire need for mercy of our earth?
Week 3 - Wednesday 4th May 2016
The process that our College community is involved in is not such a complex one. It is the way in which humans seek understanding and make judgments.
The process invites our community to consider the ways in which the environment, our planet and its human and other-than-human inhabitants are truly in need of mercy. The process is one of discernment, which is a method of coming to a decision that is not taken lightly. It is a process of meaning-making done within a community of mercy. There is attention to the detail of our suffering planet and its creatures, seeking to understand the implications of our shared plight and making a wise judgement about the possibilities, before deciding on a community action that is liberating and sustainable and unwavering.
Next week families will be invited to respond to a survey. You will receive a link to the survey that invites you to share your concerns about our planet. The students will have completed the same survey in school in the Teacher Advisor Period on Tuesday 10th May.
Here is this week’s video based on our theme for Week 3: Water - The Story of Bottled Water (2010)
The Ballarat Catholic Education Office is making impressive moves in this area as well. This link is well worth a visit.
Week 2 - Wednesday 27th April 2016
What kind of future are we leaving for our future and our children's future?
The Pope’s encyclical letter Laudato Si, is a worldwide wake up call to help humanity understand the destruction that man is rendering to the environment and his fellow man. While addressing the environment directly, the document’s scope is broader in many ways as it looks at not only man’s effect on the environment, but also the many philosophical, theological, and cultural causes that threaten the relationships of man to nature and man to each other in various circumstances. It is an unexpected topic. It presents Gospel truths. And, it provides a challenge for every believer (and non-believers too).
As a Catholic College in the Mercy tradition we have been challenged by Pope Francis writing and invited by the Sister of Mercy to become engaged in Mercy International Reflection Process. At Damascus College there are activities in TA, in Religious Education Classes and in the newsletter for parents.
The process invites our community to consider the ways in which the environment, our planet and its human and other-than-human inhabitants are truly in need of mercy. The process is one of discernment, which is a method of coming to a decision that is not taken lightly. It is a process of meaning-making done within a community of mercy. As part of the process you are invited to watch a video each week. This week’s video Laudato Si: Urgent Appeal for Action can be found at:
Produced by Catholic Earthcare Australia for September 1, 2015 World Day of Prayer for the Care of Creation. This short video features Catholic leaders offering unique Australian perspectives on Pope Francis’ encyclical, and is a call to action for the Australian Catholic community. You might like to consider these questions following the viewing:
- What images from the film stay with me?
- What have I heard?
- How do I feel about what I have witnessed?
- What is the intended message of the film?
- Who and what is effected by this?
- What the other experiences/ideas have I had about this?
- What other questions does this raise for me?
- How does this sit with me now?
- What seems obviously true to me?
- How can I be confident about this judgement?
Week 1 - Wednesday 20th April 2016
As a Catholic College in the Mercy tradition we have been challenged by Pope Francis writing and invited by the Sister of Mercy to become engaged in the Mercy International Reflection Process.
Teaching staff have already been involved in the process where they shared their areas of concern via a survey, and these stories of need for mercy on our planet have been collected.
This week we are launching this with students and families, the week that contain Earth Day on 22nd April. United Nations Secretary - General Ban Ki-moon has invited all world leaders to a signing ceremony on 22nd April for the historic climate agreement that was reached in Paris in December last year.
At Damascus College we are launching the Mercy International Reflection Process with activities in TA, in Religious Education Classes and in the newsletter for parents. Watch this space for more information about the process and how you can become involved.
For the next four weeks we will be sharing a video link with you about environmental justice concerns and issues of social justice, then inviting you as parents and guardians to complete an online survey describing your area of concern and need for mercy on our planet. The Week One video link is below:
As Mercy Institute leader Sr. Berneice Loch RSM entreated, “we can discern together globally a shared response to the cry of the Earth and the cry of the Poor, thus flaming the fire of Mercy in us and our Universe.” The process invites our community to consider the ways in which the environment, our planet and its human and other-than-human inhabitants are truly in need of mercy. The process is one of discernment, which is a method of coming to a decision that is not taken lightly. It is a process of meaning-making done within a community of mercy.